Japan’s SoftBank has cleared its biggest regulatory hurdle in its $20.1 billion bid for Sprint Nextel with a tentative agreement to give the US government oversight over its technology suppliers—especially those from China—and veto power over a seat on Sprint’s board.
The deal was put on hold over fears (especially hyped by rival bidder Dish Network) that SoftBank’s ties to Chinese manufacturers like Huawei would endanger US national security. The agreement will also give the US government oversight through a four-member national security committee and veto rights over equipment purchases, according to the Wall Street Journal. In addition, Sprint will remove Chinese equipment from the network of Clearwire, an affiliate it in the process of fully acquiring.
The agreement leaves SoftBank with just two remaining obstacles—a review by the Federal Communications Commission and shareholder approval, neither of which is expected to be a problem.